Fleshgod Apocalypse
Agony

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

Imagine, metaphorically speaking, that two high speed trains are careening towards each other on a unavoidable collision course. One train is Origin‘s ultra technical, brutal, but intelligent form of death metal. The other train is Sigh and their over the top orchestral symphonics and theatrics. BAM!!!! They collide, each train melting and melding into the other in a twisted, fiery, explosive wreckage of both styles.

So Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse have always had some form of classical, orchestral element in their top notch tech death metal, but on their intense  debut and last year’s blistering EP, it has mostly been used in controlled, transitional or introductory style here and there. But on Agony, its not tinkering keys or a violin moment here or there. The band has completely incorporated full on orchestration  into their death metal (strings, horns, woodwind, everything! The only thing missing s a full baroque choir), much like Scrambled Defuncts but much less discordant,  chaotic and unhinged. It’s much more epic, movie score-like and majestic, like a full Philharmonic Orchestra was backing up the band. If my Origin (or take any other top tier tech death metal act like Decrepit Birth, Obscura, Gorod, etc), meets Sigh (or Dimmu Borgir) analogy does not fully explain it, then I’m not sure how else to convey it…other than its absolutely fucking magnificent.

Those that have not see the video for the album’s first single ‘The Violation” should do so immediately, because basically the rest of the album is just as mind-blowing and over the top. From the dramatic,  movie quality introduction of “Temptation” to instrumental, breath catching closer “Agony” everything in between is sheer, unbridled, brilliance; almost relentlessly so — which may be a gripe for some. For me, and I imagine to most listeners, Agony will be a game changer; that rare modern classic that we’ll be talking about for years to come.

While each track certainly has  the same basic, merciless percussive template as heard on “The Violation”, and I imagine some will claim all the songs sound alike, there’s just enough variety and structure and tasteful melodic solos and bridges on the likes of ‘The Hypocrisy”, “The Imposition” ‘The Deceit” (yes, that that is a huge orchestral death metal breakdown about halfway though),  or “The Oppressing” to keep you listening for what will be next. Personally, I can listen to this album, over and over and over again and get goosebumps every single time or simply mouth ‘wow’ in silent admiration for every single song.

Be it the  above songs, the aforementioned segment of “The Deceit”, the stern, militant march and brief  female soprano of “The Egoism”, “The Violation”‘s unbridled fury, crippling, epic brilliance that starts  and ends “The Betrayal” (seriously, just…WOW! It brings a tear to my eye), or somber, restrained mood of ‘The Forsaking” (Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” anyone?), my jaw never left the floor. The only other minor gripe I foresee with most listeners will be the occasional (mostly in a few choruses) clean, operatic croons an unhinged spoke words of bassist Paolo Rossi, but it’s not a deal breaker, and not as used on the album’s latter stages.

To sum it up again, Agony is truly a special, utterly mind blowing album and I’d be surprised if this isn’t my album of the year for 2011 when the year is all said and done.

Bra-fucking -vo!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 3rd, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: Maelstrom

    Couldnt agree more with this review man.. This album is nothing if not death metal perfection.
    Just the way everything is incorporated is mind blowing.
    This is gonna be a hard one to top as album of the year.


  2. Commented by: Legion

    I’ve been listening to this album non-stop for a week now, it is just brilliant death metal, the best combination of brutal music and orchestration ever made! Like you, this album will probably end up as my #1 album for 2011, I just can’t imagine what could top that?!


  3. Commented by: thisblacksession

    Glowing review, Erik.

    I absolutely loved the Mafia EP and had no idea that this was even coming out. Having just watched the video – twice – I’m floored. If the rest of the album is half as good as this single, this is a real monster.

    Off to order!


  4. Commented by: gabaghoul

    yeah I’ll be ordering this too tonight – great writeup E


  5. Commented by: vegard

    I thought Mafia was stellar, but this is waaaaay too symphonic for my taste. So imho Origin is still on top for the best death metal album of 2011.


  6. Commented by: Eric

    Commands your attention with a hot poker to the brain stem, and leaves you in a state of euphoric musical enlightenment.

    Posted on the fb link, just wanted to reiterate.


  7. Commented by: faust

    Erik your review is Spot-fuckin-On !!! These guys are the future of extreme metal IMO. And yes, this album WILL be in MANY AOTY lists.. fuckin relentless.


  8. Commented by: Jesse Wolf

    Awesome review bro and definitely love this shit. Will be in my top ten for sure.


  9. Commented by: Clauricaune

    I like this, but I think I prefer the more naked brutality of the debut. The Dimmu Borgir-like orchestration, while enjoyable, it’s a bit too over-the-top and gimmicky for my taste.


  10. Commented by: vugelnox

    I’m with Caluricaune on this. On paper it sounds like it could be interesting but listening to this I hear a potentially strong death metal album haphazardly meshed up with the Casio Orchestra. The classical elements clutter up the mix of their already very busy sound and quickly becoming terribly distracting.


  11. Commented by: faust

    ..sigh….


  12. Commented by: skodag

    Sounds like a Danny Elfman movie score with blastbeats over the top…Mafia was great, this shit sucks.


  13. Commented by: DK777

    So, just want to make sure I understand: you really like this album???

    Just kidding. Great review, and your enthusiasm certainly makes me want to check it out.

    Cheers…


  14. Commented by: jordan

    Putridity Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria is the best brutal death metal album of 2011.


  15. Commented by: Dan Zidar

    Someone I know summed this album up nicely….

    Everything wrong with death metal in one tidy package.


  16. Commented by: faust

    except he/she was wrong about the “everything wrong” part…


  17. Commented by: turd mcgee

    “Degenerating Anthropophagical Euphoria”

    reminds me of Dripping’s “disintegration of thought patterns during a synthetic mind altering bliss”


  18. Commented by: GW

    This is a sick release but the Symphonic deal will date it.
    I am enjoying it but am leery of the symphonic thing, hating a mix of orchestral and Metal in general. I’m afraid this thing might go into the storage box after a while.


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